Winery Profile

Wine might not be the first thing one thinks of when San Diego is mentioned, but Vesper Vineyards’ two owners, husband and wife team Chris Broomell and Alysha Stehly, are on a mission to change that. Though still not widely known as a wine region, San Diego has had grapes planted as far back as 1781. Both Alysha and Chris, who grew up in the San Diego area in families that have been farming the area since the 1940s, are quickly becoming the face of winemaking in San Diego. Both studied viticulture/enology and began to craft small lots of wine from local vineyards starting in 2008. Broomell and Stehly have focused on making restrained, acid-driven wines from high altitude sites with grapes appropriately suited for the warm, dry climate surrounding San Diego. They were featured by Jon Bonne both in his book “The New California Wine” as well as his 2013 San Francisco Chronicle article about the growing San Diego wine scene.

In the improbable setting of San Diego County, Alysha Stehly and Chris Broomell are making wines that need no geographic explanation. – Jon Bonné

Wine Info

Alcalá White Blend “Highland Hills Vineyard”, San Diego County: Planted to Rhone varietals by Rich McClellan in 2006, Highland Hills is a special place. The 1400′ elevation and coarse, sandy loam soil are two of the many factors influencing this wine. 67% Marsanne, 33% Roussanne. 67% stainless steel and 33% acacia and neutral oak. The 2011 was named one of the San Francisco Chronicle’s Top 100 Wines of the Year by Jon Bonné.

Carignan “McCormick Ranch Vineyard”, San Diego County: Cooled by the air settling from Palomar Mountain, this vineyard is usually the last one harvested for Vesper. Located in Pauma Valley, 23.7 miles from the ocean at over 800′ elevation. The soils are Visalia sandy loam, 2 to 5 percent slopes, alluvium derived from granite. Since being planted in 1981 this vineyard has been battered by the weather. A sprawl trellis -unique to California- protects the vines from the heat of the day and cold air from Palomar Mountain settles into the 820′ valley to cool the evenings. Whole berry fermentation done in half ton bins, aged in flex tanks.

Grenache Rose “McCormick Ranch Vineyard”, San Diego County: Destemmed whole berry, 20 hour soak, pressed for cold settling, racked to 80 gal. fermenters, No additions, fermented then aged 9 months on gross less, allowed to oxidize slowly (orange wine), then bottled with minimal SO2 addition.

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